5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Dismantle the Federal Bureaucracy

An unelected bureaucracy runs much of the federal government and is notoriously unfriendly to limited government, conservative ideals. The Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 aims to take away much of its power and return it to the people.

In America, we’re supposed to have three branches of government and a robust system of checks and balances. What we’re not supposed to have is an unaccountable fourth branch of government that is impervious to the changes promised by winning presidential candidates. Yet, thanks to the idea that government should be run by supposedly nonpartisan, apolitical experts, we have that fourth branch. Some call it the administrative state; some call it the managerial state; some call it the Deep State.

For the sake of our constitutional republic, conservatives must dismantle much of the bureaucracy and return the power to those who are elected by—and accountable to—the American people.

The bureaucracy is notoriously unfriendly to conservative ideas. Take a look at this chart:


Share of political appointees (presidential appointments, non-career senior executive service, Schedule C appointees) by party over time. Dashed vertical lines mark presidential terms. (Source: Spenkuch, J., E. Teso, and G. Xu (2023). “Ideology and Performance in Public Organizations.” Econometrica, 91(4): 1171-1203. License here.)

The chart illustrates the share of political appointees chosen to work in the federal government by party during the six presidential terms that began in 1997. The data shows that Democratic presidents staff up their administrations a lot more quickly and with significantly more of their own like-minded people than do Republican presidents. In fact, during Republican administrations, a significant number of Democratic appointeesremain from the prior Democratic administration, while in Democratic administrations, the Republican appointees are minimal.

Why? Because conservatives struggle to understand the federal government; we fight amongst ourselves; we experience delays in the Senate confirmation of our appointees. We abdicate our duty to staff up presidential administrations because we think we must rely on the expertise of the Wilsonian administrative state that has been slowly built up over more than a century and gathered more and more power as it has grown.

But the 2025 Presidential Transition Project (also known as Project 2025) is doing something about this problem: We are preparing to dismantle the administrative state and put power back into the hands of the people. At Project 2025, we understand that you can’t take the politics out of politics—that the management of the bureaucracy is inherently political. As we reassert the principle that the president is in charge of the executive branch, there is work to be done ahead of time—and you can help!

Here are five things you can do to fight the Deep State:

  • Familiarize yourself with “Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise,” available online for free here. This blockbuster is a handy guide for the next conservative administration and the people who will comprise it. The book explores what conservative success will look like at each agency beginning in 2025. Have you ever wondered why it’s so difficult for a federal employee to get fired? Are you interested in the troubled history of the government’s newest department, the Department of Homeland Security? Instead of providing food, water, and shelter to the neediest people in the world, why is the U.S. Agency for International Development so caught up in the “self-serving and politicized aid-industrial complex of United Nations agencies, international nongovernmental organizations, and for-profit contractors,” in the words of the powerful USAID chapter of “Mandate”? What can be done about the three-letter woke acronyms—like CRT, DEI, and ESG—that infest every corner of the bureaucracy? The 47th president—and you—will find these answers and many more in “Mandate.”
  • Create your profile in our presidential personnel database. The next president is going to need your help. Our constitution vests the power of the executive branch in the president, but one person can’t possibly hope to manage the sprawling bureaucracy of more than 2 million employees all alone. That’s why the president has a supportive fleet of political appointees who work throughout the executive branch to make sure the president’s priorities are being accomplished at each federal agency. If you’re ready to fight the Deep State on behalf of the next conservative president, now’s your chance. This database will be the personnel portal for the next conservative administration.
  • Sign up for our presidential administration academy. So, what’s it like to work for the president of the United States? You’ll get the answers through the presidential administration academy, which trains future political appointees. When you start working at a federal agency, you won’t find an owner’s manual sitting on your desk. But you can get prepared ahead of time by enrolling in this massive, never-been-done-before effort to train conservative Americans ahead of time and to break down the barriers that we face when we go into the overwhelmingly liberal federal bureaucracy.
  • Check out the Project 2025 Advisory Board. The conservative movement is coming together to deliver success for the next president, with more than 70 organizations having united under the Project 2025 banner. Many of these organizations conduct their own fantastic events and programming, and you should check out all they have to offer.
  • Spread the word about Project 2025. Tell your conservative friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues. Help is on the way. We are going to restore American greatness and take down the administrative state, and you can be a part of it. The year 2025 will be here before you know it. If we do this work ahead of time on behalf of the next conservative president, we’re going to be prepared to hit the ground running and return our constitutional republic to the American people.

Spencer Chretien, is the associate director of the 2025 Presidential Transition Project, also known as Project 2025, at The Heritage Foundation. Original here. Reproduced with permission.

Guest Contributor

Self-Reliance Central publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of SRC. Reproduced with permission.